NSFL: uterine artery embolization is horrible and disgusting PART I

15 04 2012

having spent the last several weeks digging through the internet (which seems surprisingly small sometimes when you can’t find exactly what you want) looking for detailed accounts of the uterine embolization process, i had it in my mind before i got down to surgical business that i would write my own detailed personal account of the procedure. i could entitle it something hopeful like “surviving uterine embolization” or encouraging like “UFE is not so bad after all”.  like a fibroid filled sacagawea, i could guide the women of the internet through this harrowing territory, and safely out to the other side.

FUCK THAT.

as you can see from the above title, my rose colored glasses got ripped off my face on friday morning, and immediately smashed into powder. perhaps someone spit on them for emphasis. when the only other choice is hysterectomy, and you’re 34 years old and not ready to potentially catapult yourself into premature menopause… it isn’t really a choice. and truthfully, despite the fact that i’m just now starting to not be completely bedridden, it’s still probably the choice that i would have made. but seriously… WHY DIDN’T SOMEBODY TELL ME?!

if you have a weak stomach, are eating at the present, or possibly might be interested in having sex with me someday… i would recommend not reading any further. however, if your uterus looks like a little like this, and you’re not ready to have that fucker removed completely…  here is what you might be in for.  Read the rest of this entry »

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blood loss.

1 04 2012

i know. i’ve been gone for weeks. i gotta tell you, these grapefruits got me DOWN.

when last we met, i was about to go in for an MRI to see if the embolization surgery was the right option for me. and the good news/short story is that i am. my surgery is scheduled for the 6th, and the grapefruit reign of terror will soon be over. assuming that is that you think 2-6 months means soon, and that 40-60% reduction means over.

some things i learned during the MRI process:

1. if the intake nurse is worried that she’ll “jinx it” by telling you that she’s good at inserting IV lines, she’s probably not very good at it. 2 painful punctures and a lot of crying later- she had to go get the lady who can insert an IV on a baby. 45 seconds and virtually no pain later, i was in business. next time, i will ask for that lady up front.

2. if the intake nurse stabs you a bunch of times and makes you cry, the MRI tech will do virtually anything to shut you up. that includes piping radiolab into the headphones that drown out the noise of the machine.

3. the machine is really fucking loud. and they put your chest in a plastic cage and you can’t move, and sometimes you aren’t even supposed to breathe. in general, this would make for a long hour. however, if you are lucky enough to have taken an ativan during the intake, this part does not seem too bad.

but that’s over now. now all i need to do is GET PUMPED for the procedure. i’ve been trying hard not to google too much, but there aren’t really any answers to what i want to know anyway. like “when will the abdominal bloating go away” and “do i really need to be catheterized?” it seems that people only write about their personal experiences with uterine artery embolization if something either went really wrong, or they’re writing a testimonial for a doctor’s website. not exactly the most helpful cross section…

i’ve been busying myself by buying “sick supplies” like crackers, a blender, and a space foam pad for my bed. i also maybe accidentally spent $100 on books at amazon.com. oh, and i should probably mention the hot pink sweatpants with LOVE written across the butt in glitter (they were on sale).

but the biggest problem that i’ve been encountering through all this pre-surgery busy-ness is the overwhelming fatigue. these fibroids are essentially stealing all my blood! according to my MRI, there are no fewer than 5 fibroids of “significant” size (ranging from grapefruit to golf ball). the big problem is that they are both causing me to lose blood (probably TMI, but it has been shark week FOR LIKE A MONTH), AND the blood that they are not expelling, they are hoarding in their giant hard engorged tumor bodies. wow. that’s gross. but true!

these bitches are stealing all my blood and i feel like i’m dying a little. my usually perky on 4-6 hours a night self can’t be satisfied with even 9 hours. and when i do sleep, i’m waking up every 2 hours to pee (did i mention that there is a grapefruit sitting directly on my bladder?), or because of the stabbing stabbing back pain. i even had to stop sitting on my balance ball at work. i am the living dead. i can essentially get up (barely), walk the dog, go to work, come home, and curl up on the couch until it’s time for bed.

it’s not that i don’t want to write. i think about it every day. i just can’t do anything. i’m hoping that after my surgery, i’ll wake back up again. you know, after i’m done vomiting.

i’ve been making a lot of jokes about how i’m going to live tweet my surgery. but maybe that’s only hilarious to me. but anyway, i’ll keep you posted.





my lovely lady lumps: adventures in uterine fibroids.

12 03 2012

i am not an animal!

have you ever seen one of those “i didn’t know i was pregnant” tv shows where the lady doesn’t know she’s pregnant until she’s in the delivery room with what she thinks is appendicitis? well, i have. so imagine that you’re me. imagine that you’ve seen A LOT of those types of programs, and that you’re also kind of a hypochondriac. you’ve sworn off web md entirely because maybe it gives you panic attacks sometimes.

now, imagine that you’ve noticed that your abdomen (despite some recent weight loss) has become quite bloated. and when you press on it, you feel something hard and round. imagine that when you lay on your back and look at your stomach, it is notably distended to one side. you might ask a friend or two to palpate your uterus area. you might start palpating your own uterus area obsessively, and work yourself into an anxious frenzy imagining that there is a baby or a tumor or a dinosaur egg in there.

but that’s crazy, right?

i had my yearly physical coming in two weeks, and i spent the entire time bouncing back and forth between utter panic, and feeling like a idiot for thinking that anything at all was wrong (with panic winning out in the final few days). i almost went to the emergency room on at least 3 occasions.

but it’s probably nothing. Read the rest of this entry »





listen to the flamingo.

25 01 2010

he wants to give you something. apparently, by cashing in on the free grapefruit deal this weekend, i may have earned myself 2 free grapefruit spoons! woot! many thanks to fabulous reader jen (god knows how she even stumbled across this crazy ass deal in the first place), who pointed me in the right direction.

it looks like the florida grapefruit people have hired a web designer (a kind of funny girly one at that), and if you buy either a 3 lb. or greater bag of florida grapefruits OR a 54 oz. or greater container of 100% florida grapefruit juice (no cocktail!), you can mail in your receipt and get 2 pink plastic grapefruit spoons. after careful inspection, it appears that the grapefruits i picked up are from no discernible state (shawsabama?), but the ocean spray juice clearly says “florida” on the label propaganda- so im pretty sure that it applies. i generally wouldn’t bother to haul ass to the post office for something quite so trivial, but the following conditions apply:

1. i was feeling a little bummed out for getting sucked into such a mediocre deal ($5 for juice that i don’t generally buy -with no coupons!), and free spoons make it very slightly less mediocre.

2. i have a 3 lb. bag of grapefruits now, and no way to eat them. (think they’ll stay fresh for 6-8 weeks?)

3. i’m pretty sure that flamingo is giving me the sexy eye, and i think i might have  a chance with him if he sees how enthusiastic i am about florida grapefruits.